Stormy Waters Feature

It has been so rewarding seeing how these presets are helping professional photographers up their games. But one thing that also really means the world, is seeing how people's personal photography is elevated. You don't have to be a professional photographer editing clients to want, and deserve, gorgeous images of your own family. 

I truly believe, with all of my heart, that beautiful, rich black and white photos of our children are sure to be treasured for many, many years (and generations) to come.  

Nicole Wise sent me this message, and these photos of her son, and I simply had to share. 

I have tried for well over a year to get featured on a particular photography blog, to no avail, but sure enough this shot won daily fan favorite for today's submissions. The blog writer said that while she loved the portrait, it was the beautiful edit that pulled her in and allowed the boys eyes to tell the story. 
That's what Michelle's Stormy Waters presets do....they pull the viewer in. Hard. They have given my black and white photos a depth and richness they were sorely missing before. 

Before on top, after on the bottom. 

Thank you Nikki! Such a great shot, and I cannot wait to see what other magic you create! 

Rachel - A River Story Same Night Preview

Sometimes I feel myself walking the border between things so much bigger and more powerful than I understand. From the second Rachel reached out to me, I could feel that whisper on my shoulders. It's a secret sisterhood language, consisting of no words, that only the ones who get it can understand. Rachel is fluent. 

There is so much I could share about this woman and her remarkable life and family, but I truly feel like all I can do in this moment is pause, breathe slow, and allow the silence to simmer long enough to spell the story, letter by unspoken letter.

Fish, Skin and Sarah

Sometimes, right at the end of a session, with the moon rising bold in the sky, you listen to the primal creative calling that sings like a serpent up the spine.

These river story sessions were born from fishing trips I took with my father as a child. In adulthood, I've witnessed him struggle with addiction and cancer and devastating grief. The dead fish image really speaks to that truth, to our river story as father and daughter, and the human heart that breaks, and heals, endlessly, like a miracle each time. 

I am beyond grateful to beautiful Sarah for trusting me. Not many people would remain calm when they hear me ask my son to grab a dead fish from the water to place on their heart, but she was so radiant and centered and strong. Divine.

I love the silk piece she brought, and while I am certain this is not how she imagined it being used, she didn't even flinch when I told her it reminded me of human skin, and I wanted to explore this theme a bit more. I've been told I'm thin skinned my entire life, and I have come to know the beauty, and profound power, in that. I'd like to think these few images illuminate that personal story a bit. 

Sometimes I fantasize about being an art school student who gets to do all kinds of different things, and tonight was a gift. Sarah allowed me to be that unapologetic artist, and I'll never forget it. 

Anyhow, I am rambling. Tonight feels like magic and my heart feels soaked in the best kind of poetry. 

Me + Them

Yesterday we arrived to the river over an hour early so that Thomas and B could mountain bike together in the woods. We spent the day repairing flat tires and tuning up gears. But when we got to Salmon River, they realized they forgot their helmets. 

Thomas was so mad and it seriously broke my heart. They were SO excited and had been talking about this Father's Day ride for months. So, I grabbed my camera and said, "Well, I have a camera and we don't have enough photos of one another at the river, so let's go for a walk." 

We all hadn't showered in a few days. There was mustard on my face from the sandwich I ate for supper, and I wore a sweatshirt to hide my overgrown armpits. Lily's hair is tangled bedhead and she has mud on her lips because she kept pretending to put on makeup by dipping a stick in the water and rubbing it all over her face. 

And that is exactly why these images needed to be captured. This is us, camping. This is us at our absolute best. These are the days I never, ever, not even for one second want to forget. Skinned summer knees, and all. My mama heart is so grateful we had this time to make these pictures. I know I will treasure them as long as I live. 

Images by Thomas, Braedon and me.